EBRD explores Kazakhstan wind farm finance

KAZAKHSTAN: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it may provide financing for wind farms in Kazakhstan, as the Kazakh government gets serious about supporting renewable energy.

Riccardo Puliti, an EBRD managing director and head of energy and natural resources said: "We are exploring two or three wind projects in Kazakhstan in a preliminary way." Details of the wind projects, which are all backed by local developers, are still confidential.  

Puliti said the EBRD could provide total financing next year of as much as €100 million for these projects. He said: "From a wind point of view, Kazakhstan probably has some of the best resources in the world."

Kazakhstan approved primary renewable energy legislation in 2009 and Puliti explained that EBRD financing depended on parliament’s approval of secondary legislation establishing the level of a feed-in tariff for wind farms and other market details. That is expected by the first quarter of 2012.

Puliti said: "We appreciate the commitment of the Kazakh government to pass this legislation and to implement it to the best standards in a country that could in some ways do without [renewables]." Kazakhstan is rich in hydrocarbons and is the world’s largest uranium producer.

Some international firms are already eyeing Kazakhstan’s wind-energy potential. US oil giant Chevron is reportedly interested in a Kazakh wind project. Italian wind developer Relight’s Turkish subsidiary has a wind-energy venture with Kazakh private energy firm Visor.

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